Day in the life of an agent

Day In The life of a letting/estate agent

As a Redstones Lettings franchisee you work as a self employed person responsible for running and controlling the major aspects of your own business.

Your work and normal daily routine in a busy Redstones Lettings office would entail most of the following:
• Networking, marketing and advertising your business to attract new clients (landlords, property owners, would be tenants, etc) using Redstones marketing systems.
• Taking property descriptions, measurements and images to a high standard to market the property.
• Building a database by recording all client names and contact details. They might not do business with you at the time but you will be able to give follow up calls or send flyers that may result in future business.
• Replying to enquiries by telephone, email and/or in writing.
• Meeting landlords and providing advice how your business could maximise their income and minimise their risk by letting via you.
• Setting appointments to meet new landlords, carrying out market apprasials and follow ups.
• Processing landlord agreements and ensuring properties to be let and managed by you comply with all certification, legal and safety requirements. Ensuring they are aware of their obligations.
• Marketing the properties under your management and arranging and/or conducting viewing appointments for would be tenants.
• Vetting and selecting of suitable tenants, monitoring tenancies, utilising the Redstones back office systems.
• Processing tenancy agreements. Ensuring they are aware of their obligations.
• Maintaining an office diary to ensure you always keep your appointments and meetings.
• Payments, receipts, rents, banking and office administration, basic accounting.
• Communication with Head Office to keep abreast of industry developments.

Strive to develop a strong position and presence in your local business community, with networking and writing articles on your blog.

Redstones Internal Office

Redstones Internal Office

If you’d like to find out more about life as a Redstones franchisee, get in touch today. You can call the Redstones team on 01922 235 350 or email us at franchise@redstones.co.uk

Or visit www.redstonesfranchise.co.uk for further information.

Redstones Red Cup

Should You Sell Your Property In 2014?

At Redstones one of the most frequent questions we are currently being asked is ‘is this a good time to sell my property?’

As I mentioned in my previous blog confidence in the property market is soaring at present, particularly in the West Midlands.  The market is certainly buoyant and what we are seeing on a daily basis is an increasing interesting in properties up for sale at realistic prices.

At the same time, we are seeing frequent cases of multiple buyers bidding for the same property.

On top of that, we have noted the following:-

  • In comparison with the last few years, there is an increase in property viewings across the board.
  • The Bank of England governor Mark Carney recently indicated that interest rates will remain at 0.5% until at least Spring 2015 and only rise slowly to 2% by 2017.
  • The Help To Buy scheme launched by the government is aimed at assisting homebuyers who don’t have sufficient savings to offer a deposit on any mortgage.  Launched in 2013, this scheme provides help to first time buyers through either a mortgage guarantee or equity loan.
  • We are seeing a marked increase in the number of mortgage offers being made to our clients.
  • Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest that the current housebuilding boom is mainly the result of increasing house prices.

Points to Note

All of the above points indicate that 2014 is a good year to sell your property but potential sellers should also consider the following:-

  • For first time buyers, it is still a difficult market, despite the government’s scheme.
  • Other homeowners also report feeling trapped. Furthermore, affordability may not improve until wages begin to see a rise above the cost of living. With a recently released survey suggesting that employers will limit pay rises to 2% during 2014[1] this could dampen the property market.
  • The National Association of Estate Agents has described prospective rises in house prices outside London and the South East as ‘tepid’.

Whether or not 2014 is a good time to sell you property will inevitably be influenced by your personal circumstances and financial situation.  While the market is improving, it is important to be aware of all of your options, together with the potential risks and benefits.

At Redstones, we are happy to answer any questions you may have on the best way to proceed so please do not hesitate to get in touch.

[1] Source : Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD)

redstones houses

Making The Switch – It’s Easy With Redstones

For homeowners considering selling their property who have been holding on for good news, that good news has now arrived.  Confidence is rising in the property market with a recent survey by Zoopla revealing 92% of property owners expecting house prices in their own area to rise during the first half of 2014.

Redstones Switch Agent

Redstones Switch Agent

It’s also great news for the West Midlands; the region recorded a year-on-year rise in prices of 4.4% – trailing only London and the South East.

One of the biggest issues facing homeowners as they tentatively return to the property market is finding an estate agent they can trust to sell their property at the right price.

Here we’ve listed just some of the common problems:-

  • Lack of marketing.
  • Poor quality marketing materials with disappointing photographs.
  • Lack of customer service, with estate agents often slow to return calls
  • Overvalued property prices.
  • Undervalued property prices.
  • Extortionate fees.

The great news is that you do have a choice. If you’ve lost confidence in your current estate agent or feel they are failing to provide the service they so enthusiastically sold to you, why not make the switch to Redstones with our unique ‘Switch Agents’ programme?

Why Redstones?

At Redstones, our extensive marketing strategies result in your property reaching the broadest client base possible. We achieve this through local promotion, via our existing prospective buyers’ database and through our presence across a plethora of property websites, including Rightmove, Findaproperty, Zoopla and Primelocation, among others.

With our in-depth knowledge of the local market, coupled with our expertise and extensive experience we liaise closely with our clients from their first call through to the completion of their house sale.

Switch To Redstones – It’s As Easy As 1-2-3

If you are unhappy with your current agent, switching to Redstones takes just three simple steps:-

Step One – Call us today and allow us to explain how we can assist you with your current sale.

Step Two – When you are happy with what you hear (we are confident you will be), you will need to give your current agent formal notice to terminate your agreement with them.  We can provide a template for you to use. NB : We advise you to check your current terms and conditions prior to contacting us.

Step Three – We will ensure a seamless switch by arranging to collect all relevant documentation and house keys where necessary from your current agent.

Making the switch to Redstones has never been easier.

Day in the life of a Lettings Administrator by Linsey Ballinger

Linsey Ballinger - Lettings Adminstrator

Linsey Ballinger, Lettings Adminstrator for Redstones

“My daily routine beings by answering a simple telephone call and booking an appointment for a potential tenant. We deal with a range of people and always love to help with different situations and sometimes have to go that extra mile to make sure our clients are getting the best possible care when going through something as stressful as moving home.

Along with this I complete the tenants referencing process for all of the new tenants we have waiting to move into their property, and I am happy to say it is my duty to give the fantastic news that they have been successful and to arrange a move in date which always proves to be the best part of lettings.

Being an administrator at Redstones is not just your average 9-5 office job, the fast pace, excitement of lettings means I am always there to help with any emergency property maintenance, and even the odd occasional viewing. Having me in the office means that no matter what happens someone is always there to help tenants and landlord feel they are protected by us at all times, giving ultimate peace of mind for all our clients.”

10 Reasons To Choose Redstones As Your Franchisor

Making the decision to invest in a franchise business allows you to operate under a recognisable brand name using a proven business format.  This enables you to get your business up and running – and more importantly profitable – in the shortest possible time.  The dilemma potential franchisees often face is which franchisor they should choose. 

If you’re considering running your own estate agency business, here are ten reasons to choose Redstones:-

  • A strong, recognisable brand name : Redstones focuses on customer service and integrity in a market which is sometimes notorious for lacking both.
  • Excellent value for your investment. We allow our franchisees to open as many offices and high street branches as they wish within their territory at no additional cost.
  • Comprehensive training : All of our franchisees undergo two weeks of comprehensive training covering all aspects of how to successfully operate a Redstones franchise. The training takes place at our head office in the West Midlands.
  • Extensive ongoing support : On completion of your training we spend a minimum of two days on-site with you.  We believe this is invaluable as you begin to market your business and meet potential landlords.  On top of this we offer a telephone helpline, additional training modules and local marketing promotion and PR support, together with regular networking meetings and an annual conference.  We are confident that our support ranks among the best in the franchise sector.
  • Redstones’ Platinum Total Care : Recently launched as a key element of our new Landlord Services Packages our Platinum Total Care gives Redstones the edge on its competition.  This unique service guarantees that the landlord’s rent is paid on time, every month, regardless of whether or not their tenants have paid.
  • Redstones’ ‘Switch Agent’ programme : Specially designed to ensure our franchisees secure business from other lettings agents providing a poor service to property owners.
  • An optional rent collection and credit control : This enables our franchisees to become more efficient in winning new clients. Our unique offering allows you to focus on developing your business rather than worry about paying landlords.
  • Up-to-date on-line marketing strategies : From SEO to social media, Google to PPC and your own micro site, Redstones is at the forefront in developing online marketing strategies that work.
  • Outstanding service for residential sales clients : Our service includes 3D floor plans and walkthrough software solutions utilised on property websites such as Zoopla and Rightmove.
  • 0% Commission Fees :  We are confident that the recent launch of our zero commission fees for vendors through Redstones’ auctions service will increase opportunities for winning new business.

With a proven track record in a competitive market place, Redstones offers an outstanding franchise opportunity.  We look forward to welcoming you to our network.

Manjit Virdi

My thoughts, why blog, why I set up Redstones?

Landlord, Letting Agent,Property Expert,  Managing Director of Redstones Property and Redstones Franchise.

My path into the estate agency/lettings market has been far from straightforward.  After graduating from Wolverhampton University with a degree in IT and software, I took up my first position with energy giants Eon working in software development.  While I enjoyed my time with Eon, the allure of running my own business proved too much to resist.

In 2000 I made my initial steps into the property market investing in my first ‘buy to let’ properties working with a lettings agent to locate a suitable tenant and manage the property while I continued to expand my property portfolio.  My decision to set up Redstones evolved directly from my disappointing experience with lettings agents. Whenever a problem arose with my first property my tenant called me directly, although I was paying a management fee ostensibly to avoid these issues.

Realising that the market that was crying out for better customer service, I decided to manage my own portfolio, eventually offering a property management service to family and friends.

Finally, in 2003, I launched Redstones to fill the yawning gap in the market for a reputable lettings agency and I’ve never looked back. Seven years later, we launched our first high street outlet offering a customer focused service covering residential sales, lettings, property management and auctions. Building on our successful foundations in the residential market, we’ve recently extended our service into the commercial sales and lettings sector.

Click here to view the first flagship office  http://www.redstones.co.uk/office-locations/walsall

Having personally established a track record which demonstrates my expertise in the property market over a number of years, 2014 seemed the perfect time to launch my blog.

My aims with this blog are:-

  • To offer a ‘go-to’ source of advice and guidance for property owners and landlords in what can be a stressful market sector. 
  • Provide insight into the Redstones brand for potential franchisees and entrepreneurs exploring the world of franchising.

My vision has always been to establish a national network of offices trading under the Redstones banner and franchising offers the most natural route to achieve this.  A Redstones franchise gives ambitious entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop a successful business within a respected network.

As we build on our reputation and expand our client base we look forward to welcoming new franchisees into our network and continuing to offer our clients a superlative property sales and lettings experience.

Franchise security

7 Essential Questions To Ask A Franchisor

For would-be entrepreneurs thinking of investing in a franchised brand, the range of businesses on offer may seem overwhelming.  First of all, you need to decide on the type of business that’s right for you, whether it’s a retail franchise, ‘man and van’ business, professional services, estate agency and so on.

Secondly, once you’ve decided which sector you want to operate in, you are then faced with choosing the right brand.  To help you, we’ve compiled a list of essential questions to ask your potential franchisor with a brief explanation as to why you need to know.

What is the owner’s background? Do they have a successful track record in their business sector or in franchising?

If the owner doesn’t have a successful track record either in their business sector or franchising or has not successfully operated a pilot business, they will not be able to help you in running your own business.

Are you members of the British Franchise Association?

The British Franchise Association is a voluntary association which vets its members to ensure their compliance within stringent ethical standards. We would strongly advise all potential franchisees to proceed with caution if considering a non-BFA member. Redstones is proud to be a member of the BFA.

Have you worked with BFA accredited franchise consultants and lawyers in drawing up your franchise agreement?

Franchising is a specialised business and most ethical franchisors work with accredited lawyers and consultants when setting up their franchise.

How will I be trained and what ongoing training is available?

Comprehensive training in all aspects of running the franchised business, together with ongoing support, is essential for long-term business success.

How long is the franchise agreement for?

The franchise agreement is a legally binding agreement. It is important to know the length of time you are committing to and whether or not you can sell the business or renew the agreement when it comes to an end. Franchise agreements typically run for five years depending on the sector.

What additional capital or working capital will be required to set up the franchise?

You must be clear on exactly what the initial franchise fee covers and how much additional working capital will be required to get your business up and running.

What are your ongoing fees?

Franchisors typically charge royalties or ongoing fees on a franchisee’s turnover which is reinvested back into the marketing of the brand and support of the franchisee. Understanding the exact level of ongoing fees will enable you to produce a viable business plan.

For additional advice we recommend the BFA website.